What did I do wrong?
First time hanger here. I have a technical question. I tried hammock camping for the first time last weekend and it was probably the most miserable couple nights of trying to sleep that I have ever had. I have a Grand Trunk UL and I'm 6'3" and 230lbs. I slept in a straight line instead of diagonal. My feet froze, my pads slipped out and my feet and then my body tried to follow. I'm guessing if someone was watching it might have been comical, bit it sure wasn't for me. I had guys there who had hammocks and they said the angle was ok. Any ideas what i might have been doing wrong or is this hammock just too little for me? Thanks in advance.
I'm 6'2", 195lbs and slept good in a GT UL. You must sleep on the diagonal to get a comfy lay. Pads are ok, but work best if they are wide enough to cover the sides of the hammock. Many make a pad extender, or SPE, to cover this area. You can search on here and see some examples of those. An Under Quilt will do much better.
Years ago, when I first tried a hammock, I tried a pad and couldn't get it to work. I got frustrated and gave up. Then I saw an Under Quilt, picked one up, and have slept great in my hammock ever since.
30 deg. angle on the suspension, lay on the diagonal, good insulation and you're set.
Long time forum member Dejoha put together an awesome book that covers the aspects of hammock hanging. Well worth the few $ in knowledge.
what kind of pads? CCF or inflatable? Why not diagonal?
I'm not very familiar with the GTUL, however, I think your height might be one issue.
Also, in any gathered end hammock, to get flat you must lay on the diagonal. The amount of sag is also going to come into play, there is no correct answer, just lots of tinkering.
Pads slipping is a big problem for just about everyone. Some hammocks have 'pad pockets' to help. Many of us use underquilts instead, either full length or partial and then only have a small foot pad that can be placed inside the footbox of a topquilt or sleeping bag.
I'm sure you'll get plenty more specific advice, don't give up, practice a bit and see if anything changes. For many, hammocks are more comfortable, for others they are not, whatever works for you. HYOH :)
JMO, the Grand Trunk UL is too small all the way around. I can't get a good lay in it. My son liked it a bit at first but he out grew it in just a couple of months. A lot of people here like it....but a lot also agree that it is just too small. Have you tried laying in a wider hammock to see how it differs and how feels to you? If not, perhaps on another group hang, you could try someones double wide so that you know how it feels and if you'd be more comfortable.
I had a woobie tied on as an UQ with a space blanket between that and the hammock. I had a thermarest on the inside. It seemed to me that my feet were too high and that caused some of the cold issues. I had a 0 degree bag and dry heavy wool socks on, but still had problems. I'm very used to sleeping outdoors in the cold and usually know how to take care of myself, but this stumped me.
I kinda forgot about diagonal until after it was all over. Like I said, I'm new :)
I did try out another's Hennessy Expedition and it seemed more comfortable to me, but I was only in it for a few minutes.
+1 Joey on The Ultimate Hang! Well worth few bucks.
Just "hang" in there if you can endure another try. My 1st night in a hammock was, hands down, my most miserable night camping ever. It was so bad that, shivering and freezing to death, I abandoned the hammock about 0200 to find a flat spot and sleep on the ground under the stars. Where I was not particularly comfy, but was warm. Actually, I don't think it was a comfort issue except for sliding down into the foot end of the hammock. I fell asleep quickly and slept like the dead until the violent shivering woke me up. Also, I would have received severe ridicule if my mates had observed me. I actually managed to turn the HH nearly upside down as I thrashed wildly trying ( to no avail ) to get all the way in my sleeping bag. Later realizing I had ended up in the net. It was miserable. But after that night, I slept good and warm and have not voluntarily gone back to ground in the 6 years since then. But this whole new ballgame took some figuring out for me. It had a learning curve, the biggest part of which was staying warm. But I am always toasty now.
Originally Posted by Ranger77
I'm sure you will get plenty of specific tips. All that jumps out at me right now is the possibility that the hammock might be a little small for you. Oh, I can sleep mid-line in some of my gathered hammocks with excellent comfort. By legs/feet have to be out towards the side of the hammock, NOT in the middle. But it is extra tricky keeping my legs/feet warm, because one leg might be off of the pad or under quilt. I would probably need an additional thin section of pad under the one leg. Probably works best with a PeaPod.
If you are still interested with the cushy hammock benefit, you will most likely be able to figure it all out, so don't be too quick to give up. And if you just can't get it, before you give up consider a bridge hammock. Both can be very comfy, but some folks do better in one or another. ( lucky me: both)
Like so many things it takes a little work and you will be fine. My first night was horrid. Try letting some air out of your pad if you are using something like a thermarest. Either sew an SPE or take a section of blue pad or equivalent and turn it across your shoulders and hips forming a tee. 20" x maybe 34-36". I'm 6'0" and at the limit on the UL I think. You just have to get situated and have your ridge-line set right (approximately 80-83% of the hammock length). I don't toss much so I think that helps. You just have to give it a chance I got some help from Shug and Flrider and it helped understand why you get cold in spots. Its worth the effort so don't give up.
Originally Posted by Ranger77
At your size I think many an experienced hanger would have had trouble sleeping comfortably in a Grand Trunk UL.
I know some tall people can use small hammocks but I know it doesn't work for me.